06030, Av. de la República 17, Tabacalera, Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de México, CDMX
55 5128 3411
Mexico City was a vibrant and exciting place to be during the roaring 1920s, the telephone and the automobile were bridging those long distances and very soon even flight was going to be a staple of daily life. The country had found some stability after the Revolution and business was booming in its northern neighbor, the United States, which only made Mexico’s economy improve even more. There was a predominant lifestyle of nightlife and fashion that brought with it the opening of new places of leisure and entertainment, one such location was the Frontón México, the first large indoor sporting venue in the country, constructed as the main official jai alai court in Mexico. It was designed by the architects Teodoro Kunhart and Joaquín Capilla and was opened in 1929 in the Colonia Tabacalera in the location that is now right in front of the Plaza de la República and the Revolution Monument, all located between the important Insurgentes and Paseo de la Reforma avenues. The sport of jai alai really increased in popularity in the ensuing years, and the Frontón México had its heyday between the 1930s and 1950s.
Jai Alai had been popular for some time even before the construction of the Frontón México, this fast and exciting sport, which has the fastest moving ball in all of sports (the jai alai ball can be projected at speeds of up to 290 km per hour), had its first venue in an old street named Ezequiel Montes, and was actually inaugurated by then-president Porfirio Díaz in 1895. The sport, cesta punta as it’s called in Vasque, was invented by the Vasque people of Spain and brought to Mexico by the Vasque immigrants who arrived in the country.
The signature art deco style of the Fronton México came to represent an era and an old joie de vivre that the city had during that tumultuous decade, but the sport of jai alai saw a decline in its popularity, and after a labor dispute, the Frontón México was finally closed, and it remained that way for more than a decade, forgotten from 1996 to 2017, till it was renovated with a budget of $35 million dollars by the National Institute of Fine Arts and turned into a multi-functional entertainment and convention center. From hip sporting venue to hosting hipster concerts well into the XXI century, the Frontón México is still, thankfully, a part of Mexico’s vibrant nightlife.
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